Picture of Upholster a Settee
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This was a recent project for a friend of my brother. Unfortunately I forgot to document the old, ragged, beat-up fabric that the settee arrived in. You can use these instructions for other upholstery projects as well. Make sure you have a digital camera ready, and take pictures of all major steps of unassemblying the furniture. This will be your guide to put it back together.
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Step 1: Remove old fabric

Picture of Remove old fabric
Usually there is some sheer fabric stapled on he underside of the furniture. Start by removing this first. Then remove the paper strips and welting at the bottom of the piece. This picture shows the corner, which is the most critical part of the structure. There is a grove beneath the welting and it is glued there. The reglueing will come much alter, but I don't have a better picture, so take note.

Step 2: Continue removing all separate pieces by pulling the staples with pliers.

Picture of Continue removing all separate pieces by pulling the staples with pliers.
Continue removing all separate pieces by pulling the staples with pliers.

Step 3: Internal hardware

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At the edges, you will find internal upholstery hardware that was used instead of staples to hold the straight edges together. Carefully remove these, and save the metal piecer, which you will use again with the new fabric.

Step 4: Strip down to the wood

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Layer by layer, strip down to the wood, but leave the padding intact.

Step 5: Save the padding

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You will encounter loose pieces of padding which you should also keep to reuse later.

Step 6: New Fabric

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If you were lucky, the old fabric came off intact, and you can use it as a pattern to cut the new upholstery. When cutting, make sure you keep all key parts in the same direction, so at the end it will seem like a single piece of fabric was used to cover the whole piece of furniture. Start with the seat, and make sure you stretch the fabric so it will be smooth and flat throughout.

Step 7: Welting and trim

Picture of Welting and trim
Cut long strips of fabric diagonally, and sew a piece of chord in the middle for decorative welting. You may buy ready-made welting too. Fortunately you can just use a staple-gun to put the pieces in place. Then staple a panel beneath the welting, and staple the other edge on the bottom of the furniture.
The best way to stretch fabric when you're stapling it on is to start from the center and work to the outside; this will make it much less likely to have ripples.

Also... just a note: for people who have not done any upholstery before, START SIMPLE. Find some easy project (follow the basic steps of this instructable, but do it with something more like This)